Citizen of the Year

Citizen of the Year 2022
Jenna Raizes

Jenna Raizes with her husband Charlie and children Ryder and Millie.
Barbara Fleming and Carol Sanderson from the Greenland Women's Club with Citizen of the Year Recipient Jenna Raizes

    When we select a Citizen of the Year, it often seems like a “Lifetime Achievement Award”. Other times the award is for some specific “above and beyond” contribution they’ve made for the betterment of the community. This year’s Citizen of the Year might be working towards that Lifetime Achievement Award, with many contributions that have improved life here in Greenland.

    Jenna Raizes didn’t grow up here. She hails from Weimar, TX, but she married Charlie Raizes, a local Greenland guy, and quickly decided to make this community her own. As a mom with two young children, Ryder & Millie, she saw an unfilled need for recreation activities for the pre-school set, so she started T-Ball and Soccer groups with huge success in both. At last count, there were more than 120 kids enrolled in T-Ball. This may actually become a Lifetime Job, as who can she possibly find willing to take THAT on? Jenna implemented a field day and awards ceremony, concentrating on skills rather than the competitiveness of a game. Her efforts extend far beyond organization, however. She can be found during the week and early on Saturday mornings raking and lining Krasko Field and ensuring it is mowed for the tee ball league.

    When her son Ryder entered school, Jenna joined the Greenland Parent Organization. There she often takes an idea and runs with it. Her ability to anticipate and plan every detail for a large-scale event is beyond impressive. She is on a first name basis with School and Town Hall Staff, and members of the Fire and Police Departments, with whom she has planned and executed rides throughout town by Santa and the Easter Bunny during the pandemic, as well as a Community Fun Run as part of Greenland’s 300th Anniversary last fall. She spearheaded a Gratitude Campaign for the school staff last Thanksgiving, and took the lead in planning this year’s School Reading Carnival. One gets the impression that if Jenna has an idea, people pay attention and are likely to “lean in” because they know she can pull it off.

    During the pandemic summer of 2020, Jenna took on the task of sprucing up the school playground and other outdoor spaces for the students returning to school in September, the year of “Covid Outdoor Learning”. But she had even bigger plans than that. As the GPO “Greenland Plays” chair In collaboration with the School administration, she created a large-scale plan to both update and rehab the outdoor play spaces, and was involved in securing a significant grant which will fund much of the plans. Since the School playground doubles as the town playground, this is a community benefit all can enjoy.

    So, as you can imagine, members of the Greenland Women’s Club were BEYOND THRILLED when Jenna also decided to join our group, appreciating how our Club has benefited the community as well, and wanting to be part of continuity from one generation to the next.  This past holiday season, she organized the First Annual Tree Lighting Event right here at the bandstand, complete with Santa & Mrs. Claus. This girl is CONNECTED!

    So, although this isn’t a Lifetime Achievement Award, we think she’s well on her way to getting one of those too some day!

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